Candy Cummings

  • Card series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Star of Brooklyn
  • League: National Association (NABBP)
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

William Arthur Cummings (1848-1924) has a plaque in Cooperstown today, not because of his won-lost record or ERA – both of which were excellent; but primarily because he is credited with inventing the curveball, and was able to throw it effectively under the combat conditions of early baseball. A star for the Brooklyn clubs in the old NABBP in the 1860s, Cummings continued to be effective in the pro era until 1877.

  • Cummings got the idea for the curve from a day at the beach chucking clam shells
  • Once catcher Nat Hicks moved close behind the batter, the curve became a viable pitch
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

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